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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Adrian Peterson: Vikings ‘outcoached’ in ‘so many different areas’

By Derek Wetmore

MINNEAPOLIS – For the second time in two home losses for the Vikings, star running back Adrian Peterson called into question his team’s coaching.

Peterson, while giving credit to Seattle after a 38-7 drubbing, said that the Seahawks were “more aggressive, played more physical, and they outcoached us as well.”

Peterson had just eight carries for 18 yards during the game, and a big reason why is that the Vikings trailed 21-0 by halftime, and essentially turned away from using Peterson as the focal point of the offense.

By the end of the lopsided defeat, the Vikings had been outgained by a healthy margin: 447 yards to 149. That paltry total for the Vikings included just 31 rushing yards and 118 yards through the air. About the only positive came when Cordarrelle Patterson returned a kickoff for a touchdown and saved the Vikings from being shut out at home.

After Peterson mentioned the Vikings coaching staff, he was asked how he thought the Vikings had been outcoached.

“So many different areas,” Peterson said. “And outplayed, too, in so many different areas as far as players as well.”

Did his assessment have anything to do with getting just eight carries?

“What you think?” Peterson asked rhetorically.

The reporter said yes, and Peterson silently gestured as if he agreed with the assessment.

“But, you know, it is what it is. I’m not going to dwell on this,” Peterson said. “Because we have a long season ahead of us.”

His comments come just two weeks after Peterson questioned the coaching in a loss to the Green Bay Packers, saying that it’s “the coaches’ job to put us in the best position.”

Then ESPN reported that Peterson met with the coaching staff to address his lack of carries, and the Vikings went on to beat the Falcons on the road, 20-10, when Peterson got 29 carries for 158 yards and two touchdowns against Atlanta’s strong run defense.

The Vikings offense this year under coordinator Norv Turner is designed around Adrian Peterson, who is having a terrific season as a runner. When Minnesota fell behind 14-0 in the first half Sunday, the team was in 2-minute mode and Jerick McKinnon took Peterson’s place, which isn’t unusual this season.

Then Teddy Bridgewater threw a pass too high for Stefon Diggs and was intercepted by Earl Thomas, which set up Seattle’s third touchdown in the first half, and the rout was on. Peterson had just 5 carries for 10 yards at the time of the poorly-thrown interception. From that point forward, Peterson received just 3 carries.

“Well, we kind of got away from who we are a little bit when the score got 14-0,” head coach Mike Zimmer said after the game. “Then throwing an interception, poor throw by Teddy. Then it’s 21-0 at halftime, and we still couldn’t get anything going offensively. We didn’t block very good, we didn’t throw the ball good today.”

Zimmer said the Vikings “probably” got away too early from using Peterson.

Zimmer has said in the past that he’s not going to make any apologies for the style of game the Vikings (8-4) typically win. He suggested they’re built around a good defense and a strong running game powered by Peterson.

“You don’t want to go in down 21 [points] at halftime, but you should be able to bite down and scratch back some type of way,” Peterson said. “We just weren’t able to do it.”

Teams that are built around a strong passing game may find it easier to overcome large early deficits, as quick-strike scores often are easier to come by. The Vikings, by comparison, have more or less ditched their primary offensive weapon, Peterson, when trailing, in part because of the need for more passes, and also in part because Peterson isn’t considered as strong in pass protection as other running backs on the roster.

Peterson disagreed with the idea that the Vikings have it difficult if they fall behind early in games.

“When you go down 21 [points] it kind of changed things, but still you want to come out and, based on how things looked the first half with the pass game and the run game, you come as coaches and you try to adjust,” Peterson said. “And as players, too, you try to adjust and see how you can improve, and things you can do better. Today we weren’t able to do that.”

“We have to come back and re-evaluate some things and come ready to play Thursday,” Peterson said. The Vikings play the Cardinals in Arizona on Thursday.

The post Adrian Peterson: Vikings ‘outcoached’ in ‘so many different areas’ appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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